Elevate carbon farming as a central climate solution!

Right now, San Diego County is drafting two key documents that will shape climate action for the next decade.  Carbon farming is on the table, but it needs to be elevated and amplified. Read our advocacy letter to get familiar with our recommendations.

Main recommendations:

  • include the existing and ongoing contribution of San Diego farms to GHG sequestration;

  • identify and compensate farmers for the existing and ongoing co-benefits and ecological services provided by our farms;

  • identify projects that defend agricultural livelihoods and improve the resilience of our operations; and 

  • develop a pathway for new farmers to accelerate carbon farming in our County.

Here are some sample comments/talking points you can use to amplify our message with local and state representatives, agencies and organizations:

“Please elevate our local food system as a higher priority in the San Diego De-Carbonization Plan.  Carbon farming offers the most cost effective and natural strategy for reducing CO2 in our atmosphere as well as the critical co-benefits of improving our local food security and greening our economy.”


“San Diego has more small and organic farms than anywhere else in the United States.  We must empower our farmers to become part of our local climate change strategy by providing incentives for carbon farming, opportunities for farmer-led research, and accounting for their contributions in sequestering greenhouse gas emissions.”

“San Diego needs to invest in our local food system as a key sector in the fight against climate change.  Our farmers can help mitigate our significant carbon footprint and get us to net zero faster--while simultaneously producing the healthiest, fresh food imaginable.  This Decarbonization Strategy dabbles in carbon farming--and makes an excellent start--but It is essential that it become a more central strategy and that the right investments are made now!”

“Healthy topsoil is critical green infrastructure and deserves more attention than it is given in the current draft of the Decarbonization Plan.  Let’s get this right San Diego and we will reap the benefits of healthy, fresh foods far into the future.  Please elevate carbon farming as a regional climate change solution.”

In times of Climate Change and critical local environmental legislation aiming to take bold climate action that mitigates beyond state targets to net-zero and below by 2035-2045, we are strongly advocating in different frontlines for carbon farming as a way to mitigate GHG emissions by increasing soil health, Organic Matter, biodiversity, and carbon storage in our farms.

As members of the San Diego Green New Deal Alliance, the Carbon Farming task force, and other working groups we use letters as an important advocacy tool to ensure decision-makers listen to the needs of their communities, and to share our policy recommendations for specific ways that the County could partner with farmers and food system stakeholders to meet mitigation challenges locally.  

Check out the Linking Climate-friendly farming practices to SD County's CAP report from March 2018, an opportunity analysis of Carbon Farming in the Unincorported County (click on the thumbnail image).

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state of the science: climate resilient agriculture in san diego county

UCCE San Diego is pleased to announce a new publication on Climate and Agriculture is now available!


State of the Science: Climate Resilient Agriculture in San Diego County–A Literature and Policy Review


This paper provides a snapshot for five main topics related to the region’s agriculture and climate:

  • San Diego County’s Farming Environment

  • Climate Change Projections and Impacts

  • Climate-Resilient Farming Practices

  • Regulations and Policy

  • Economics of Climate-Resilient Agriculture


With input from several University and local partners, this review provides current information, which helps determine priority research and program needs. It may also serve as a supporting reference for future project and funding requests.

Read and download State of the Science: Climat Resilient Agriculture in San Diego County - UCCE Report (PDF File)

ipcc report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

The IPCC prepares comprehensive Assessment Reports about the state of scientific, technical, and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for reducing the rate at which climate change is taking place. It also produces Special Reports on topics agreed to by its member governments, as well as Methodology Reports that provide guidelines for the preparation of greenhouse gas inventories. The IPCC is working on the Sixth Assessment Report which consists of three Working Group contributions and a Synthesis Report. The Working Group I contribution was finalized in August 2021 and the Working Group II contribution in February 2022.

Read the Special Report on Climate Change and Land, SUMMARY FOR POLICYMAKERS

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National young farmers survey

The 2022 National Young Farmer Survey received 10,091 responses, including 4,344 from past, current, and
aspiring farmers who self-identified as age 40 and under. Our findings reveal a new generation of farmers answering the call to provide healthy food, steward the land, and cultivate community well-being. They are building diversified operations designed for resilience in the face of a changing climate, and are motivated to farm for conservation, regeneration, and social justice.
The Survey also reveals the urgent structural challenges standing in the way of their success, including access to land, access to capital, health care costs, access to affordable housing, the high cost of production, student loan debt, climate change, immigration issues, access to federal programs, and that these barriers are even higher for farmers who identify as Black, Indigenous, and other people of color

Read and download BUILDING A FUTURE WITH FARMERS 2022 - Results and Recommendations from the National Young Farmer Survey.